Author Archive: Jef Burnham

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations

| May 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

The 2012 filmic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, comes to us care of director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco). Adapting Dickens’ novel to screen successfully is no easy feat, but it’s one that other directors, including David Lean and Alfonso Cuarón, attempted long before Newell. The greatest of these […]

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Hallucination Strip

Hallucination Strip

| May 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

Hallucination Strip (1975), the latest obscure Italian film released on home video by boutique distributor RaroVideo USA, explores the troubled ins-and-outs of Italy’s counterculture in the 1970s. Made by first-and-only-time director Lucio Marcaccini, Hallucination Stirp focuses on a group of young political activists living (and dying) in Rome, but in doing so paints a picture […]

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Escape from Tomorrow

Escape from Tomorrow

| April 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

It’s almost unbelievable that Escape from Tomorrow (2013) exists. Writer/director Randy Moore and his crew, in case you’re as yet unaware of their exploits, filmed Escape from Tomorrow almost entirely on location in Walt Disney World and Disneyland in secret, receiving no permission whatsoever from Disney… even after production! On top of that, the film […]

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The Inspector Lavardin Collection

The Inspector Lavardin Collection

| April 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

It’s over forty minutes into Chicken with Vinegar (Poulet au vinaigre, 1985) before Inspector Lavardin (Jean Poiret, The Last Metro) at last makes his cinematic debut, unceremoniously pulling into a gas station to fill up. Although sweet, charming and certainly well-intentioned, Lavardin appears, at first, somewhat pedestrian as far as fictional detectives go—hardly the sort […]

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Stan Lee’s Mighty 7: Beginnings

Stan Lee’s Mighty 7: Beginnings

| April 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

I’ll concede that the 2007 releases of Stan Lee Presents: Mosaic and Stan Lee Presents: The Condor were, shall we say, somewhat underwhelming as far as superhero movies go. Still, I own them and I’ve watched them a couple times each anyway. And in no small part it’s because of my adoration for the man […]

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The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups

| April 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Following StarVista’s wholly unsurprising success with their 2013 releases of The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Favorites and The Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together on DVD, they’re poised to replicate that success once more with the third of their 6-disc Carol Burnett Show releases: Carol’s Crack Ups. When it comes to nostalgic television, I don’t […]

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Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

| April 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Broadchurch came to my attention for the same reason many of our readers were no doubt drawn to it: the presence of long-time Doctor Who star, David Tennant, in the series’ lead role. Yet I soon learned the series co-starred fellow Doctor Who alum, Arthur Darvill, and was written and created by Chris Chibnall, who […]

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Ms. 45

Ms. 45

| March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Abel Ferrara’s 1981 film, Ms. 45, takes some time to appreciate, as most Ferrara films do in my experience. After all, the film’s protagonist is raped twice in the first eleven or so minutes, and one of those instances occurs before we even learn definitively that she’s mute. After killing her second attacker, Thana goes […]

Monsters: The Complete Series

Monsters: The Complete Series

| March 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

Each episode of Monsters opens with an unconventional and highly meta title sequence: from an establishing shot of the Earth on high, we pull in through the atmosphere on to a suburban neighborhood, and then move in closer still toward an average suburban home. The family residing there, we discover, is not unlike that of […]

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Deluxe Blu-ray Edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Deluxe Blu-ray Edition

| March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Surpassed in iconicity only by his title role in 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera, Lon Chaney’s performance as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) was a defining moment in the actor’s prolific, but all-too-short filmic career. Renowned for his ability to transform himself entirely through the use of makeup and by altering […]

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